US20030131561A1 - Method of manufacturing a tubular sleeve - Google Patents

Method of manufacturing a tubular sleeve Download PDF

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Publication number
US20030131561A1
US20030131561A1 US10/356,804 US35680403A US2003131561A1 US 20030131561 A1 US20030131561 A1 US 20030131561A1 US 35680403 A US35680403 A US 35680403A US 2003131561 A1 US2003131561 A1 US 2003131561A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
sleeve
material
portion
bonding material
pot
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US10/356,804
Inventor
Donald Weder
Joseph Straeter
William Straeter
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Family Trust U/T/A
Original Assignee
Weder Donald E.
Straeter Joseph G.
Straeter William F.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US08/095,331 priority Critical patent/US5428939A/en
Priority to US08/220,852 priority patent/US5572851A/en
Priority to US08/237,078 priority patent/US5625979A/en
Priority to US08/386,859 priority patent/US5493809A/en
Priority to US08/457,186 priority patent/US5572849A/en
Priority to US08/608,390 priority patent/US5628146A/en
Priority to US08/709,233 priority patent/US5689915A/en
Priority to US08/928,560 priority patent/US5899047A/en
Priority to US27490399A priority
Priority to US67252500A priority
Application filed by Weder Donald E., Straeter Joseph G., Straeter William F. filed Critical Weder Donald E.
Priority to US10/356,804 priority patent/US20030131561A1/en
Publication of US20030131561A1 publication Critical patent/US20030131561A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09FDISPLAYING; ADVERTISING; SIGNS; LABELS OR NAME-PLATES; SEALS
    • G09F3/00Labels, tag tickets, or similar identification or indication means; Seals; Postage or like stamps
    • G09F3/08Fastening or securing by means not forming part of the material of the label itself
    • G09F3/10Fastening or securing by means not forming part of the material of the label itself by an adhesive layer
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47FSPECIAL FURNITURE, FITTINGS, OR ACCESSORIES FOR SHOPS, STOREHOUSES, BARS, RESTAURANTS OR THE LIKE; PAYING COUNTERS
    • A47F5/00Show stands, hangers, or shelves characterised by their constructional features
    • A47F5/16Platform-type show stands with flat, inclined, or curved upper surface
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47FSPECIAL FURNITURE, FITTINGS, OR ACCESSORIES FOR SHOPS, STOREHOUSES, BARS, RESTAURANTS OR THE LIKE; PAYING COUNTERS
    • A47F7/00Show stands, hangers, or shelves, adapted for particular articles or materials
    • A47F7/0071Show stands, hangers, or shelves, adapted for particular articles or materials for perishable goods
    • A47F7/0078Show stands, hangers, or shelves, adapted for particular articles or materials for perishable goods for plants or flowers
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47GHOUSEHOLD OR TABLE EQUIPMENT
    • A47G7/00Flower holders or the like
    • A47G7/02Devices for supporting flower-pots or cut flowers
    • A47G7/08Covers for flower-pots, e.g. ornamental pots
    • A47G7/085Covers for flower-pots, e.g. ornamental pots made of flexible sheets of non-resilient material
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C61/00Shaping by liberation of internal stresses; Making preforms having internal stresses; Apparatus therefor
    • B29C61/02Thermal shrinking
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C61/00Shaping by liberation of internal stresses; Making preforms having internal stresses; Apparatus therefor
    • B29C61/06Making preforms having internal stresses, e.g. plastic memory
    • B29C61/0608Making preforms having internal stresses, e.g. plastic memory characterised by the configuration or structure of the preforms
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B31MAKING ARTICLES OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER; WORKING PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31FMECHANICAL WORKING OR DEFORMATION OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31F1/00Mechanical deformation without removing material, e.g. in combination with laminating
    • B31F1/0003Shaping by bending, folding, twisting, straightening, flattening or rim-rolling; Shaping by bending, folding or rim-rolling combined with joining; Apparatus therefor
    • B31F1/0045Bending or folding combined with joining
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B44DECORATIVE ARTS
    • B44CPRODUCING DECORATIVE EFFECTS; MOSAICS; TARSIA WORK; PAPERHANGING
    • B44C5/00Processes for producing special ornamental bodies
    • B44C5/06Natural ornaments; Imitations thereof
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B44DECORATIVE ARTS
    • B44FSPECIAL DESIGNS OR PICTURES
    • B44F1/00Designs or pictures characterised by special or unusual light effects
    • B44F1/08Designs or pictures characterised by special or unusual light effects characterised by colour effects
    • B44F1/10Changing, amusing, or secret pictures
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B25/00Packaging other articles presenting special problems
    • B65B25/02Packaging agricultural or horticultural products
    • B65B25/023Packaging flower bouquets
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B25/00Packaging other articles presenting special problems
    • B65B25/02Packaging agricultural or horticultural products
    • B65B25/026Packaging flower pots
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B61/00Auxiliary devices, not otherwise provided for, for operating on sheets, blanks, webs, binding material, containers or packages
    • B65B61/02Auxiliary devices, not otherwise provided for, for operating on sheets, blanks, webs, binding material, containers or packages for perforating, scoring, slitting, or applying code or date marks on material prior to packaging
    • B65B61/025Auxiliary devices, not otherwise provided for, for operating on sheets, blanks, webs, binding material, containers or packages for perforating, scoring, slitting, or applying code or date marks on material prior to packaging for applying, e.g. printing, code or date marks on material prior to packaging
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B67/00Apparatus or devices facilitating manual packaging operations; Sack holders
    • B65B67/08Wrapping of articles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D33/00Details of, or accessories for, sacks or bags
    • B65D33/16End- or aperture-closing arrangements or devices
    • B65D33/18End- or aperture-closing arrangements or devices using adhesive applied to integral parts, e.g. to flaps
    • B65D33/20End- or aperture-closing arrangements or devices using adhesive applied to integral parts, e.g. to flaps using pressure-sensitive adhesive
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D33/00Details of, or accessories for, sacks or bags
    • B65D33/16End- or aperture-closing arrangements or devices
    • B65D33/18End- or aperture-closing arrangements or devices using adhesive applied to integral parts, e.g. to flaps
    • B65D33/22End- or aperture-closing arrangements or devices using adhesive applied to integral parts, e.g. to flaps using heat-activatable adhesive
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D65/00Wrappers or flexible covers; Packaging materials of special type or form
    • B65D65/02Wrappers or flexible covers
    • B65D65/14Wrappers or flexible covers with areas coated with adhesive
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D65/00Wrappers or flexible covers; Packaging materials of special type or form
    • B65D65/02Wrappers or flexible covers
    • B65D65/22Details
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D75/00Packages comprising articles or materials partially or wholly enclosed in strips, sheets, blanks, tubes, or webs of flexible sheet material, e.g. in folded wrappers
    • B65D75/52Details
    • B65D75/54Cards, coupons, or other inserts or accessories
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D75/00Packages comprising articles or materials partially or wholly enclosed in strips, sheets, blanks, tubes, or webs of flexible sheet material, e.g. in folded wrappers
    • B65D75/52Details
    • B65D75/58Opening or contents-removing devices added or incorporated during package manufacture
    • B65D75/5827Tear-lines provided in a wall portion
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D81/00Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents
    • B65D81/36Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D85/00Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials
    • B65D85/50Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials for living organisms, articles or materials sensitive to changes of environment or atmospheric conditions, e.g. land animals, birds, fish, water plants, non-aquatic plants, flower bulbs, cut flowers or foliage
    • B65D85/505Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials for living organisms, articles or materials sensitive to changes of environment or atmospheric conditions, e.g. land animals, birds, fish, water plants, non-aquatic plants, flower bulbs, cut flowers or foliage for cut flowers
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D85/00Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials
    • B65D85/50Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials for living organisms, articles or materials sensitive to changes of environment or atmospheric conditions, e.g. land animals, birds, fish, water plants, non-aquatic plants, flower bulbs, cut flowers or foliage
    • B65D85/52Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials for living organisms, articles or materials sensitive to changes of environment or atmospheric conditions, e.g. land animals, birds, fish, water plants, non-aquatic plants, flower bulbs, cut flowers or foliage for living plants; for growing bulbs
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B31MAKING ARTICLES OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER; WORKING PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31BMAKING CONTAINERS OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31B2155/00Flexible containers made from webs
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B31MAKING ARTICLES OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER; WORKING PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31BMAKING CONTAINERS OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31B2155/00Flexible containers made from webs
    • B31B2155/001Flexible containers made from webs by folding webs longitudinally
    • B31B2155/0012Flexible containers made from webs by folding webs longitudinally having their openings facing in the direction of movement
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B31MAKING ARTICLES OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER; WORKING PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31BMAKING CONTAINERS OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31B2155/00Flexible containers made from webs
    • B31B2155/002Flexible containers made from webs by joining superimposed webs, e.g. with separate bottom webs
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B31MAKING ARTICLES OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER; WORKING PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31BMAKING CONTAINERS OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31B2160/00Shape of flexible containers
    • B31B2160/30Shape of flexible containers pointed or tapered
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B31MAKING ARTICLES OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER; WORKING PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31BMAKING CONTAINERS OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31B2241/00Making bags or boxes intended for a specific use
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B31MAKING ARTICLES OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER; WORKING PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31BMAKING CONTAINERS OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31B70/00Making flexible containers, e.g. envelopes or bags
    • B31B70/26Folding sheets, blanks or webs
    • B31B70/262Folding sheets, blanks or webs involving longitudinally folding, i.e. along a line parallel to the direction of movement
    • B31B70/266Folding sheets, blanks or webs involving longitudinally folding, i.e. along a line parallel to the direction of movement involving gusset-forming
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B31MAKING ARTICLES OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER; WORKING PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31BMAKING CONTAINERS OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31B70/00Making flexible containers, e.g. envelopes or bags
    • B31B70/26Folding sheets, blanks or webs
    • B31B70/36Folding sheets, blanks or webs by continuously feeding them to stationary members, e.g. plates, ploughs or cores

Abstract

A sleeve used to wrap items such as potted plants. The sleeve may have an open or closed bottom. When closed, the bottom may have a gusset for allowing expansion upon the depositing of the pot into the sleeve. The sleeve has a detachable upper portion. The sleeve may have a bonding material disposed upon an inner or outer portion of the sleeve for attaching the sleeve to the pot or item.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a continuation of U.S. Ser. No. 09/672,525, filed Sep. 28, 2002; which is a continuation of U.S. Ser. No. 09/274,903, filed Mar. 24, 1999, now abandoned, which is a continuation of U.S. Ser. No. 08/928,560, filed Sep. 12, 1997, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,889,047, issued May 4, 1999; which is a continuation of U.S. Ser. No. 08/709,233, filed Aug. 30, 1996, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,689,915, issued Nov. 25, 1997; which is a continuation of U.S. Ser. No. 08/608,390, filed Feb. 28, 1996, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,628,146, issued May 13, 1997; which is a continuation of U.S. Ser. No. 08/457,186, filed Jun. 1, 1995, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,572,849, issued Nov. 12, 1996; which is a continuation of U.S. Ser. No. 08/386,859, filed Feb. 10, 1995, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,493,809, issued Feb. 27, 1996; which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Ser. No. 08/237,078, filed May 3, 1994, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,625,979, issued May 6, 1997; which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Ser. No. 08/220,852, filed Mar. 31, 1994, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,572,851, issued Nov. 12, 1996; which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Ser. No. 08/095,331, filed Jul. 21, 1993, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,428,939, issued Jul. 4, 1995. [0001]
  • Each of these patent applications and patents is hereby incorporated herein by reference. [0002]
  • FIELD OF INVENTION
  • This invention generally relates to sleeves, and more particularly, to sleeves used to wrap flower pots containing floral groupings and/or mediums containing floral groupings, and methods of using same.[0003]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a sleeve having a detaching element and bonding material constructed in accordance with the present invention. [0004]
  • FIG. 2A is a cross-sectional view of the sleeve of FIG. 1 taken along line [0005] 2A-2A thereof.
  • FIG. 2B is a cross-sectional view of the sleeve of FIG. 1 taken along line [0006] 2A-2A thereof.
  • FIG. 3 is an elevational view of a version of the sleeve of FIG. 1 with a release material disposed adjacent the bonding material. [0007]
  • FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the sleeve of FIG. 3. [0008]
  • FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of a sleeve similar to the sleeve of FIG. 1 but having a release material disposed upon the bonding material. [0009]
  • FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of an alternate version of the sleeve of FIG. 1 wherein areas of bonding material are disposed opposite one another upon portions of an inner surface of the sleeve. [0010]
  • FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of an alternate version of the sleeve of FIG. 6 having a release material disposed between the two areas of bonding material. [0011]
  • FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the sleeve of FIG. 7. [0012]
  • FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of an alternate version of the sleeve of FIG. 6 wherein release material is disposed upon the areas of bonding material. [0013]
  • FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of a version of a sleeve having staggered areas of bonding material on an inner surface thereof. [0014]
  • FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view of a version of a sleeve wherein a bonding material is disposed upon a portion of a surface of a gusset facing an inner surface of the sleeve. [0015]
  • FIG. 12 is an elevational view of another sleeve constructed in accordance with the present invention. [0016]
  • FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view of the sleeve of FIG. 12 taken along line [0017] 13-13 thereof.
  • FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view of the sleeve of FIG. 12 having a release material disposed within an inner space thereof. [0018]
  • FIG. 15 is an elevational view of another sleeve constructed in accordance with the present invention wherein bonding material has an alternate pattern. [0019]
  • FIG. 16A is an elevational view of another version of a sleeve constructed in accordance with the present invention wherein the sleeve has a closure bonding material disposed thereon. [0020]
  • FIG. 16B is a cross-sectional view of the sleeve of FIG. 16A taken along line [0021] 16B-16B thereof.
  • FIG. 17A is an elevational view of another sleeve having a closure bonding material disposed thereon. [0022]
  • FIG. 17B is a cross-sectional view of the sleeve of FIG. 17A taken along line [0023] 17B-17B thereof.
  • FIG. 17C is a cross-sectional view of a sleeve having a closure bonding material disposed on two areas of the sleeve. [0024]
  • FIG. 18 is an elevational view of a version of a sleeve of the present invention having an upper portion extending only slightly above an uppermost portion of a lower portion of the sleeve. [0025]
  • FIG. 19 is an elevational view of a sleeve like the sleeve in FIG. 18 yet having a bonding material on an inner surface thereof. [0026]
  • FIG. 20 is an elevational view of yet another sleeve constructed in accordance with the present invention. [0027]
  • FIG. 21 is a cross-sectional view of the sleeve of FIG. 20 taken along line [0028] 21-21 thereof.
  • FIG. 22 is a perspective view of the sleeve of FIG. 20 in an opened configuration and with an upper portion removed. [0029]
  • FIG. 23 is an elevational view of another sleeve constructed in accordance with the present invention. [0030]
  • FIG. 24 is an elevational view of another sleeve constructed in accordance with the present invention wherein an upper portion is constructed of a material different from a material of a lower portion. [0031]
  • FIG. 25 is an elevational view of another sleeve constructed in accordance with the present invention wherein an upper portion is connected to a portion of a lower portion and removable via a tear strip. [0032]
  • FIG. 26 is an elevational view of a version of a sleeve wherein perforations have a scalloped pattern. [0033]
  • FIG. 27 is an elevational view of a version of a sleeve wherein perforations have an inverted scalloped pattern. [0034]
  • FIG. 28 is an elevational view of a version of a sleeve wherein perforations have a wave pattern. [0035]
  • FIG. 29 is an elevational view of a version of a sleeve wherein perforations have a zig-zag pattern. [0036]
  • FIG. 30 is an elevational view of a version of a sleeve wherein perforations have a rectangular pattern. [0037]
  • FIG. 31 is an elevational view of a version of a sleeve wherein perforations are diagonally slanted. [0038]
  • FIG. 32 is an elevational view of a sleeve having a tightening tab. [0039]
  • FIG. 33 is an elevational view of a sleeve having a pair of tightening tabs. [0040]
  • FIG. 34 is a perspective view of the sleeve of FIG. 33 tightened about a potted plant. [0041]
  • FIG. 35 is an elevational view of a sleeve having a pair of tab extensions with a bonding material disposed on the sleeve. [0042]
  • FIG. 36 is a perspective view of the sleeve of FIG. 35 tightened about a potted plant. [0043]
  • FIG. 37 is a cross-sectional view of a sleeve such as the sleeve of FIG. 35 but having a release material disposed upon the bonding material. [0044]
  • FIG. 38 is an elevational view of a sleeve such as the sleeve of FIG. 35 but also having a bonding material on the tabs. [0045]
  • FIG. 39 is a perspective view of a sleeve forming apparatus showing a method of constructing a sleeve in accordance with the present invention. [0046]
  • FIG. 40 is a schematic representation of a dual web roller feeding apparatus which can be used as an alternate method for feeding the webs shown in FIG. 39. [0047]
  • FIG. 41 is a fragmental plan view of an alternate sleeve-forming configuration. [0048]
  • FIG. 42 is a fragmental plan view of another sleeve-forming configuration. [0049]
  • FIG. 43 is a fragmental plan view of yet another sleeve-forming configuration. [0050]
  • FIG. 44 is a fragmental plan view of yet another sleeve-forming configuration.[0051]
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The present invention contemplates a plant packaging system comprising a sleeve (also referred to herein as a flexible sleeve) having a combination of an protective upper portion (also referred to herein as upper sleeve) and a decorative lower portion having a base and skirt for packaging a potted plant. The upper sleeve can be detached from the decorative lower portion of the package system once the function of the upper sleeve has been completed, thereby exposing a decorative cover comprising the base and skirt of the decorative lower portion wherein the skirt portion extends outwardly from the base. The upper sleeve and decorative cover components may comprise a unitary construction or may comprise separate components which are attached together by various bonding materials. [0052]
  • More specifically, the present invention contemplates a plant cover for covering a pot having an outer peripheral surface. The plant cover comprises (1) a base portion having a lower end, an upper end, and an outer peripheral surface, and having an opening extending from the upper end to the lower end, and (2) an upper sleeve portion extending from the upper end of the base portion and detachable therefrom, and wherein when the upper sleeve portion is detached from the upper end of the base portion, a portion of the base portion referred to as a skirt extends outwardly, upwardly or inwardly from the base portion. In general, the base portion is sized to substantially cover the outer peripheral surface of the pot. The upper sleeve portion may be detachable via a detaching element such as perforations, tear strips and zippers. The plant cover may have an extended portion extending from the upper sleeve portion for serving as a handle or support device. [0053]
  • A preferred version of the invention is a flexible sleeve which comprises a flattened body having a closed lower end, an open upper end, an outer peripheral surface, and an inner peripheral surface surrounding an inner retaining space. The sleeve further comprises a lower portion having an inner retaining space for enclosing a pot, an upper portion connected to the lower portion and sized to substantially surround and encompass a floral grouping when the pot and floral grouping are disposed within the sleeve, the upper portion detachable from the lower portion via perforations positioned in a predetermined pattern, and a bonding material disposed upon a portion of the inner peripheral surface, the bonding material for bondingly connecting a portion of the sleeve to the pot when the sleeve is opened and the pot is disposed within the inner retaining space thereby holding the lower portion of the sleeve in a position about the pot and the upper portion of the sleeve in a position about the floral grouping. [0054]
  • The upper portion of the sleeve may be constructed from a first material and the lower portion of the sleeve from a second material different from the first material. The lower portion of the sleeve may comprise a skirt portion which extends from a base portion when the upper portion of the sleeve is detached. The sleeve may further comprise an extended portion of the upper portion of the sleeve for serving as a handle. The sleeve may further comprise a release material for preventing the bonding material from bondingly connecting to an opposing portion of an inner peripheral surface of the sleeve. A closure bonding material may be disposed upon the upper portion of the sleeve near the upper end of the sleeve for sealing the upper end of the sleeve for enclosing the floral grouping within the upper portion. The upper portion of the sleeve may further comprise apertures for enabling ventilation of the enclosed floral grouping. [0055]
  • The flattened body may be further defined as having a first side which has a first edge, a second edge, an upper edge, a lower edge, an outer surface and an inner surface, a second side which has a first edge, a second edge, an upper edge, a lower edge, an outer surface and an inner surface, and wherein in a flattened condition of the sleeve, the inner surface of the first side rests flatwise upon the inner surface of the second side and the first edge of the first side is sealed to the first edge of the second side and the second edge of the first side is sealed to the second edge of the second side. [0056]
  • In another embodiment, sleeve may have a tab having a connected end and a free end wherein the connected end is connected to an outer peripheral surface of a lower portion of the sleeve, and further may have a bonding material for bondingly connecting the free end of the tab to a portion of the outer peripheral surface of the lower portion of the sleeve for tightening the lower portion of the sleeve about portion of a pot disposed within the sleeve for holding the sleeve in a position about the pot. The bonding material may be disposed upon the tab near the free end of the tab. Further, the bonding material may be disposed upon a portion of the outer peripheral surface of the lower portion of the sleeve for receiving the free end of the tab. Alternatively, the bonding material may be disposed upon the tab near the free end of the tab and upon a portion of the outer peripheral surface of the lower portion of the sleeve in a position to receive the free end of the tab when the tab is tightened. A removable release material may be disposed upon the bonding material. [0057]
  • In another version, the present invention comprises a method of packaging a potted plant, including the steps of, (1) providing a flexible sleeve in any of the versions described herein, (2) opening the flexible sleeve rendering accessible an inner retaining space of the sleeve, (3) providing a pot containing a floral grouping, the pot having an outer peripheral surface, (4) disposing the pot within the inner retaining space of the flexible sleeve wherein a lower portion of the flexible sleeve is positioned adjacent the pot and an upper portion of the sleeve extends upwardly from the pot, the upper portion substantially surrounding and encompassing the floral grouping, and a bonding material positioned adjacent a portion of the outer peripheral surface of the pot, and (5) urging the lower portion of the flexible sleeve having the bonding material on an inner surface thereof against the outer surface of the pot thereby bondingly connecting the lower portion of the sleeve to the pot. The flexible sleeve may further comprise a release material for preventing the bonding material from bondingly connecting to an opposing portion of the inner surface of the flexible sleeve and wherein prior to the step of disposing the pot within the sleeve, the release material is removed from the sleeve. Alternatively, prior to the step of disposing the pot within the sleeve, the position of the release material may just be shifted within the inner retaining space for exposing the bonding material. The method may further comprise the step of sealing an upper end of the sleeve for enclosing the floral grouping within the upper portion of the sleeve. [0058]
  • The present invention in another version is a potted plant package, comprising a potted plant and a flexible sleeve as described herein, and wherein the potted plant is disposed within an inner retaining space of the flexible sleeve wherein a base portion of a lower portion of the flexible sleeve is positioned adjacent the pot and an upper portion of the flexible sleeve extends upwardly from the pot, the upper portion substantially surrounding and encompassing a floral grouping, and a bonding material bondingly connecting a base portion of the lower portion to a portion of an outer peripheral surface of the pot for holding the base portion in a position about the pot and the upper portion in a position about the floral grouping. [0059]
  • The present invention further contemplates a method of preparing a potted plant package for sale. The method includes the steps of (1) providing a potted plant package such as one described herein comprising a potted plant contained within a flexible sleeve wherein the potted plant is disposed within an inner retaining space of the flexible sleeve wherein a base portion of a lower portion of the flexible sleeve is positioned adjacent the pot and an upper portion of the sleeve extends upwardly from the pot, the upper portion substantially surrounding and encompassing a floral grouping, and a bonding material bondingly connecting the base portion to a portion of an outer peripheral surface of the pot for holding the base portion in a position about the pot and the upper portion in a position about the floral grouping, and (2) removing the upper portion of the flexible sleeve by tearing the upper portion away from the lower portion along perforations, wherein the lower portion of the sleeve remains disposed about the pot, the lower portion of the sleeve forming a decorative plant cover which substantially surrounds and encompasses the pot and wherein the lower portion is bondingly connected to the pot and held thereto by bonding material on an inner peripheral surface of the lower portion. An upper end of the sleeve of the potted plant package which is provided may be closed. [0060]
  • Further detail and explanation of the articles and methods of the present invention are forthcoming in the description provided below. [0061]
  • The Embodiments and Methods of Use of FIGS. [0062] 1-15
  • Shown in FIGS. 1 and 2A-[0063] 2B and designated therein by the general reference numeral 10 is a flexible bag or sleeve of unitary construction. The sleeve 10 initially comprises a flexible flattened piece of material which is openable into the form of a tube or sleeve. The sleeve 10 may be tapered outwardly from its lower end toward a larger diameter at its upper end. In its flattened state the sleeve 10 may have an overall trapezoidal, modified trapezoidal or contoured (non-linear) shape, and when opened is generally substantially frusto-conical to coniform. It will be appreciated, however, that the sleeve 10 may comprise variations on the aforementioned shapes or may comprise significantly altered shapes such as square or rectangular, wherein the sleeve 10 when opened has a cylindrical form, as long as the sleeve 10 functions in accordance with the present invention in the manner described herein.
  • The sleeve [0064] 10 has an upper end 12, a lower end 14, an outer peripheral surface 16 and in its flattened state has a sealed first edge 18 and a sealed second edge 20 and a first side 22 and a second side 24. The sleeve 10 has an opening 25 at the upper end 12 and preferably has a closed bottom at the lower end 14. Preferably the lower end 14 is closed with a gusset 26 but it may be sealed along an edge. The first side 22 has a first inner peripheral surface 28 and the second side 24 has a second inner peripheral surface 30 which together, when the sleeve 10 is opened, define and encompass an inner retaining space 32 as shown in FIG. 2A. When the lower end 14 of the sleeve 10 has a closed bottom, a portion of the lower end 14 may be inwardly folded to form one or more gussets, as noted above for permitting a circular bottom of an object, such as a potted plant, to be disposed into the inner retaining space 32 of the lower end 14 of the sleeve 10.
  • The sleeve [0065] 10 is generally frusto-conically shaped, but the sleeve 10 may be, by way of example but not by way of limitation, cylindrical, frusto-conical, a combination of both frusto-conical and cylindrical, or any other shape, as long as the sleeve 10 functions as described herein as noted above. Further, the sleeve 10 may comprise any shape, whether geometric, non-geometric, asymmetrical and/or fanciful as long as it functions in accordance with the present invention. The sleeve 10 may also be equipped with drains or ventilation holes (not shown), or can be made from permeable or impermeable materials.
  • The material from which the sleeve [0066] 10 is constructed preferably has a thickness in a range from about 0.1 mil to about 30 mils, although in some cases the sleeve may be much thicker, especially when the sleeve is constructed from multiple layers. Often, the thickness of the sleeve 10 is in a range from about 0.5 mil to about 10 mils. Preferably, the sleeve 10 has a thickness in a range from about 1.0 mil to about 5 mils. More preferably, the sleeve 10 is constructed from material which is flexible, semi-rigid, rigid, or any combination thereof. The sleeve 10 may be constructed of a single layer of material or a plurality of layers of the same or different types of materials. Any thickness of the material may be utilized as long as the material functions in accordance with the present invention as described herein. The layers of material comprising the sleeve 10 may be connected together or laminated or may be separate layers. Such materials used to construct the sleeve 10 are described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,111,637, entitled “Method For Wrapping A Floral Grouping” issued to Weder et al., on May 12, 1992, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference. Any thickness of material may be utilized in accordance with the present invention as long as the sleeve 10 may be formed as described herein, and as long as the formed sleeve 10 may contain at least a portion of a pot or potted plant or a floral grouping, as described herein. Additionally, an insulating material such as bubble film, preferable as one of two or more layers, can be utilized in order to provide additional protection for the item, such as the floral grouping, contained therein.
  • In one embodiment, the sleeve [0067] 10 may be constructed from two polypropylene films. The polypropylene films comprising the sleeve 10 may be connected together or laminated or may be separate layers. In an alternative embodiment, the sleeve 10 may be constructed from only one of the polypropylene films.
  • The sleeve [0068] 10 may also be constructed, in whole or in part, from a cling material, “Cling Wrap or Material” when used herein means any material which is capable of connecting to the sheet of material and/or itself upon contacting engagement during the wrapping process and is wrappable about an item whereby portions of the cling material contactingly engage and connect to other portions of another material, or, alternatively, itself, for generally securing the material wrapped about at least a portion of a pot. This connecting engagement is preferably temporary in that the material may be easily removed, i.e., the cling material “clings” to the pot.
  • The cling material is constructed and treated if necessary, from polyethylene such as Cling Wrap made by Glad®, First Brands Corporation, Danbury, Conn. The thickness of the cling material will, in part, depend upon the size of sleeve [0069] 10 and the size of the pot in the sleeve 10, i.e., generally, a larger pot may require a thicker and therefore stronger cling material. The cling material will range in thickness from less than about 0.1 mil to about 10 mils, and preferably less than about 0.5 mil to about 2.5 mils and most preferably from less than about 0.6 mil to about 2 mils. However, any thickness of cling material may be utilized in accordance with the present invention which permits the cling material to function as described herein.
  • The sleeve [0070] 10 is constructed from any suitable material that is capable of being formed into a sleeve and wrapped about a pot and a floral grouping disposed therein. Preferably, the material comprises paper (untreated or treated in any manner), metal foil, polymeric film, non-polymeric film, fabric (woven or nonwoven or synthetic or natural), cardboard, fiber, cloth, burlap, or laminations or combinations thereof.
  • The term “polymeric film” means a man-made polymer such as a polypropylene or a naturally occurring polymer such as cellophane. A polymeric film is relatively strong and not as subject to tearing (substantially non-tearable), as might be the case with paper or foil. [0071]
  • The material comprising the sleeve [0072] 10 may vary in color and may consist of designs or decorative patterns which are printed, etched, and/or embossed thereon using inks or other printing materials. An example of an ink which may be applied to the surface of the material is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,147,706, entitled “Water Based Ink On Foil And/Or Synthetic Organic Polymer” issued to Kingman on Sep. 15, 1992 and which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.
  • In addition, the material may have various coloring, coatings, flocking and/or metallic finishes, or other decorative surface ornamentation applied separately or simultaneously or may be characterized totally or partially by pearlescent, translucent, transparent, iridescent, neon, or the like, qualities. Each of the above-named characteristics may occur alone or in combination and may be applied to the upper and/or lower surface of the material comprising the sleeve [0073] 10. Moreover, portions of the material used in constructing the sleeve 10 may vary in the combination of such characteristics. The material utilized for the sleeve 10 itself may be opaque, translucent, transparent, or partially clear or tinted transparent.
  • It will generally be desired to use the sleeve [0074] 10 as a covering for a potted plant such as is well known in the art. The term “pot” as used herein refers to any type of container used for holding a floral grouping or plant. Examples of pots, used in accordance with the present invention include, but not by way of limitation, clay pots, wooden pots, plastic pots, pots made from natural mud/or synthetic fibers, or any combination thereof. The pot is adapted to receive a floral grouping in the retaining space. The floral grouping may be disposed within the pot along with a suitable growing medium described in further detail below, or other retaining medium, such as a floral foam. It will also be understood that the floral grouping, and any appropriate growing medium or other retaining medium, may be disposed in the sleeve 10 without a pot.
  • The term “floral grouping” as used herein means cut fresh flowers, artificial flowers, a single flower or other fresh and/or artificial plants or other floral materials and may include other secondary plants and/or ornamentation or artificial or natural materials which add to the aesthetics of the overall floral grouping. The floral grouping comprises a bloom or foliage portion and a stem portion. Further, the floral grouping may comprise a growing potted plant having a root portion (not shown) as well. However, it will be appreciated that the floral grouping may consist of only a single bloom or only foliage, or a botanical item (not shown), or a propagule (not shown) the term “floral grouping” may be used interchangeably herein with both the terms “floral arrangement” and “potted plant”. The term “floral grouping” may also be used interchangeably herein with the terms “botanical item” and/or “propagule.”[0075]
  • The term “growing medium” when used herein means any liquid, solid or gaseous material used for plant growth or for the cultivation of propagules, including organic and inorganic materials such as soil, humus, perlite, vermiculite, sand, water, and including the nutrients, fertilizers or hormones or combinations thereof required by the plants or propagules for growth. [0076]
  • The term “botanical item” when used herein means a natural or artificial herbaceous or woody plant, taken singly or in combination. The term “botanical item” also means any portion or portions of natural or artificial herbaceous or woody plants including stems, leaves, flowers, blossoms, buds, blooms, cones, or roots, taken singly or in combination, or in groupings of such portions such as bouquet or floral grouping. [0077]
  • The term “propagule” when used herein means any structure capable of being propagated or acting as an agent of reproduction including seeds, shoots, stems, runners, tubers, plants, leaves, roots or spores. [0078]
  • In accordance with the present invention, a bonding material is preferably disposed on a portion of the sleeve [0079] 10 to assist in holding the sleeve 10 to a pot having the floral grouping therein when such a pot is disposed within the sleeve 10 or to assist in closing an upper end of the sleeve 10 or adhering the sleeve 10 to the pot after the pot has been disposed therein, as will be discussed in further detail below.
  • It will be understood that the bonding material may be disposed as a strip or block on a surface of the sleeve [0080] 10 as is described in more detail herein. The bonding material may also be disposed upon either the first side 22, the second side 24, the first inner peripheral surface 28, or the second inner peripheral surface 30, of the sleeve 10, as well as upon the pot. Further, the bonding material may be disposed as spots of bonding material, or in any other geometric, non-geometric, asymmetric, or fanciful form and in any pattern including covering either the entire inner peripheral surface and/or outer peripheral surface of the sleeve 10 and/or the pot or pot cover.
  • The bonding material may be covered by a cover material or release strip which can be removed prior to the use of the sleeve, pot or pot cover. The bonding material can be applied by means known to those of ordinary skill in their art. One method for disposing a bonding material, in this case an adhesive, is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,111,637, entitled “Method For Wrapping A Floral Grouping” issued to Weder et al., on May 12, 1992, which has been incorporated by reference above. [0081]
  • The term “bonding material” when used herein means an adhesive, frequently a pressure sensitive adhesive, or a cohesive. When the bonding material is a cohesive, a similar cohesive material must be placed on the adjacent surface for bondingly contacting and bondingly engaging with the cohesive material. The term “bonding material” also includes materials which are heat sealable and, in this instance, the adjacent portions of the material must be brought into contact and then heat must be applied to effect the seal. The term “bonding material” also includes materials which are sonic sealable and vibratory sealable. The term “bonding material” when used herein also means a heat sealing lacquer or hot melt material which may be applied to the material and, in this instance, heat, sound waves, or vibrations, also must be applied to effect the sealing. [0082]
  • The term “bonding material” when used herein also means any type of material or thing which can be used to effect the bonding or connecting of the two adjacent portions of the material or sheet of material to effect the connection or bonding described herein. The term “bonding material” may also include ties, labels, bands, ribbons, strings, tapes (including single or double-sided adhesive tapes), staples or combinations thereof which may be used in accordance with the present invention. Some of the bonding materials would secure the ends of the material while other bonding material may bind the circumference of a wrapper, or a sleeve, or, alternatively and/or in addition, the bonding materials would secure overlapping folds in the material and/or sleeve. Another way to-secure the wrapping and/or sleeve is to heat seal the ends of the material to another portion of the material. One way to do this is to contact the ends with an iron of sufficient heat to heat seal the material. [0083]
  • Alternatively, a cold seal adhesive may be utilized as the bonding material. The cold seal adheres only to a similar substrate, acting similarly as a cohesive, and binds only to itself. The cold seal adhesive, since it bonds only to a similar substrate, does not cause a residue to build up on equipment, thereby both permitting much more rapid disposition and use of such equipment to form articles and reducing labor costs. Further, since no heat is required to effect the seal, the dwell time, that is, the time for the sheet of material to form and retain the desired shape is reduced. A cold seal adhesive binds quickly and easily with minimal pressure, and such a seal is not readily releasable. This characteristic is different from, for example, a pressure sensitive adhesive. [0084]
  • The term “bonding material” when used herein also means any heat or chemically shrinkable material, and static electrical or other electrical systems, chemical welding systems, magnetic systems, mechanical or barb-type fastening elements or clamps, curl-type characteristics of the film or materials incorporated in material which can cause the material to take on certain shapes, cling films, slots, grooves, shrinkable materials and bands, curl materials, springs and any type of welding method which may weld portions of the material to itself or to the pot, or to both the material itself and the pot and which functions in accordance with the present invention. [0085]
  • Certain versions of the sleeve [0086] 10 described herein may be used in conjunction with a preformed plant cover as explained in greater detail below.
  • As shown in FIG. 1, the sleeve [0087] 10 is demarcated into an upper portion 36 and a lower portion 38. The lower portion 38 of the sleeve 10 is generally sized to contain a potted plant. The upper portion 36 may optionally have apertures 39 near the upper end 12 thereof for allowing the sleeve 10 to be supported by a support mechanism such as a pair of wickets (not shown) such as is known in the art. The upper portion 36 of the sleeve 10 is generally sized to substantially surround and encompass a floral grouping of a potted plant disposed within the lower portion 38 of the sleeve 10. The sleeve 10 is demarcated into the upper portion 36 and the lower portion 38 by a detaching element 40 for enabling the detachment of the upper portion 36 of the sleeve 10 from the lower portion 38 of the sleeve 10. In the version shown in FIG. 1, the detaching element 40 is a plurality of perforations which extend across the outer peripheral surface 16 of the sleeve 10 from the first edge 18 to the second edge 20.
  • The term “detaching element,” as used generally herein, means any element, or combination of elements, or features, such as, but not limited to, perforations, tear strips, tear starts, zippers, and any other devices or elements of this nature known in the art, or any combination thereof, which enable or facilitate the tearing away or detachment of one object from another. Therefore, while perforations are shown and described in detail herein, it will be understood that tear strips, zippers, or any other “detaching elements” known in the art, or any combinations thereof, could be substituted therefor and/or used therewith. The sleeve [0088] 10 may comprise drainage or ventilation holes in the upper or lower portions for allowing movement of gases or moisture to and away from the inner space of the sleeve (not shown).
  • In a preferred embodiment, as shown in FIG. 1, the lower portion [0089] 38 of the sleeve 10 further comprises a base portion 42, and a skirt portion 44. The base portion 42 comprises that part of the lower portion 38 which, when a pot is placed into the lower portion 38, has an inner peripheral surface which is substantially adjacent to and surrounds an outer peripheral surface of the pot. The skirt portion 44 comprises that part of the lower portion 38 which extends beyond an upper rim of the pot and adjacent at least a portion of a floral grouping contained within the pot and which is left to freely extend straight from or at an angle, inwardly or outwardly, from the base portion 42 when the upper portion of 36 of the sleeve 10 is detached from the lower portion 38 of the sleeve 10 by actuation of the detaching element 40. In the intact sleeve 10, the skirt portion 44 has an upper peripheral edge 46 generally congruent with the detaching element 40 which is connected to a lower peripheral edge 48 of the upper portion 36 of the sleeve 10 also congruent with the detaching element 40. In FIG. 1, the upper peripheral edge 46 of the skirt portion 44 is congruent with a series of perforations which together comprise the detaching element 40.
  • The upper portion [0090] 36 of the sleeve 10 may also have an additional detaching element (not shown) such as a plurality of vertical perforations for facilitating removal of the upper portion 36 and which are disposed more or less vertically therein extending from the detaching element 40 to the upper end 12 of the sleeve 10. When the vertical detaching element is present the upper portion 36 of the sleeve 10 is separable from the lower portion 38 of the sleeve 10 by tearing the upper portion 36 along both the vertical perforations and along the detaching element 40, thereby separating the upper portion 36 from the lower portion 38 of the sleeve 10. The lower portion 38 of the sleeve 10 remains disposed as the base portion 42 about the pot and as the skirt portion 44 about the floral grouping which extends from the pot forming a decorative cover which substantially surrounds and encompasses the potted plant.
  • It will be understood that equipment and devices for forming standard floral sleeves are commercially available, and are well known to a person of ordinary skill in the art. A preferred method is discussed below. [0091]
  • As noted above, the sleeve [0092] 10 preferably has a closed lower end 14. When the lower end 14 is closed, the lower end 14 may have one or more gussets 26 formed therein for allowing expansion of the lower end 14 when an object with a broad lower end such as a pot is disposed therein. In another version of the present invention the lower end 14 may be completely or partially open.
  • In the preferred version of the present invention, the sleeve [0093] 10 further comprises an area of bonding material 50 disposed upon a portion of the first inner peripheral surface 28 of the base portion 42 of the sleeve 10. In another version of the present invention, the sleeve 10 may be constructed without a bonding material thereon. In the case, the sleeve 10 may be attached to an outer surface of a pot disposed therein by a bonding material applied to the outer surface of the pot. The area of bonding material 50, when present, functions to enable the base portion 42, or a portion thereof, to be bondingly connected to the outer peripheral surface of the pot disposed therein causing the sleeve 10 to be bondingly connected to the pot.
  • The sleeve [0094] 10 in FIG. 2A is shown as partially opened; however, the sleeve 10 is generally provided to the operator in a substantially flattened condition and usually as one of a stack of sleeves. During the process of covering the pot, the sleeve.10 is opened, manually or automatically. In the flattened condition of the sleeve 10, the pot bonding material 50 disposed on the first inner peripheral surface 28 of the first side 22 may partially adhere to the second inner peripheral surface 30 of the second side 24 of the sleeve 10. Obviously, it is desirable to avoid a situation in which the pot bonding material 50 is permanently or strongly bonded to the second inner peripheral surface 30 of the sleeve 10 because this would make it difficult for the sleeve 10 to be manually or automatically opened for insertion of the pot. As a result, the pot bonding material 50 may be made of an adhesive composition which has a low degree of tackiness such that if the pot bonding material 50 does adhere to the second inner peripheral surface 30 it can be easily separated from the second inner peripheral surface 30 when the sleeve 10 is opened. Such adhesives with low tackiness are well known to those of ordinary skill in the art and are commercially available.
  • Alternatively, the pot bonding material [0095] 50 can be composed of a cohesive material. Since the cohesive is applied to only one of the inner peripheral surfaces (the first inner peripheral surface 28 as shown in FIGS. 2A or 2B), the cohesive will not bond to the opposite surface (the second inner peripheral surface 30 in FIGS. 2A or 2B) as long as there is no opposing cohesive material to which it can bond. In this version of the invention, in order for the first inner peripheral surface 28 of the first side 22 of the sleeve 10 to be bonded to a pot disposed therein, an area of cohesive material to which the pot bonding material 50 can cohere must be present on at least a portion of the outer surface of the pot (not shown). Once the pot is inserted into the sleeve, the areas of bonding material can be pressed together to bondingly connect the sleeve to the pot.
  • In yet another version of the present invention, shown in FIGS. 12-15 of U.S. Pat. No. 5,625,979, which is incorporated by reference herein, a bonding material is disposed on a portion of an outer peripheral surface of a base portion of a sleeve. After the pot is disposed in a retaining space of the base portion, the sleeve is manually or automatically crimped about the outer peripheral surface of the pot in the vicinity of the bonding material, thereby forming overlapping folds in the base portion which are bondingly connected together by the bonding material to add structural integrity to the base portion of the sleeve and to cooperate to hold the base portion in the shape of a pot cover or for causing the base portion of the sleeve to engage the outer peripheral surface of the pot and be held firmly thereabout. The bonding material may be disposed on the sleeve at a position below the upper rim of the pot or may be disposed at a position on the base portion of the sleeve above the upper rim of the pot such that the overlapping folds crimpingly formed are located in a position generally above the upper rim of the pot. [0096]
  • Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, a material can be disposed between a pot bonding material [0097] 50 a and a second inner peripheral surface 30 a of a second side 24 a of a sleeve 10 a for preventing the adherence of the material 50 a to the second inner peripheral surface 30 a. Shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 is the sleeve 10 a exactly like sleeve 10 except that a piece of release material 52 is disposed within an inner retaining space 32 a of the sleeve 10 a wherein the release material 52 serves as a barrier between the pot bonding material 50 a, which is disposed on a first inner peripheral surface 28 a of the first side 22 a, and the second inner peripheral surface 30 a of the second side 24 a, thereby preventing the bonding material 50 a from bonding to the second inner peripheral surface 30 a. The release material 52 is constructed of a material which will not adhere to the bonding material 50 a. Such release materials are well known to those of ordinary skill in the art and are available commercially.
  • During operation, when the sleeve [0098] 10 a is opened in anticipation of disposing a pot therein, after opening, the release material 52 can be removed from the inner retaining space 32 a of the sleeve 10 a prior to insertion of the pot therein. In yet another version of the invention, FIG. 5 shows a sleeve 10 b having a pot bonding material 50 b having a piece of release material 54 disposed directly thereon in a manner well known in the art. The release material 54 can be removed from the opened sleeve 10 b immediately before insertion of a pot.
  • Shown in FIG. 6 is a sleeve [0099] 10 c exactly like sleeve 10 except that in addition to having a bonding material 50 c disposed on a first inner peripheral surface 28 c of a first side 22 c, the sleeve 10 c also has an opposing bonding material 50 c′ disposed on a second inner peripheral surface 30 c of a second side 24 c. The bonding materials 50 c and 50 c′ are constructed of a material having low tackiness so that in the event the bonding material 50 c adheres to the bonding material 50 c′, the sleeve 10 c can still be easily opened for insertion of a pot. FIGS. 7 and 8 show a sleeve 10 d which is exactly the same as sleeve 10 c except that a piece of release material 52 d is inserted into an inner retaining space 32 d of the sleeve 10 d in the same manner as that shown in FIG. 4 wherein the release material 52 d is disposed between areas of bonding material 50 d and 50 d′. FIG. 8 shows a perspective view of an opened sleeve 10 d with the release material 52 d still disposed therein.
  • FIG. 9 shows a sleeve [0100] 10 e which is exactly the same as sleeve 10 c in FIG. 6 except that each area of pot bonding material 50 e and 50 e′ has a release material 54 e and 50 e′ disposed directly thereon, respectively, in a manner as discussed above for sleeve 10 b.
  • FIG. 10 shows a sleeve [0101] 10 f which is exactly like sleeve 10 except the sleeve 10 f has a first area of pot bonding material 56 and a second area of pot bonding material 58 which are disposed on opposite first and second inner peripheral surfaces 28 f and 30 f, respectively, and which are disposed at staggered positions such that pot bonding material 56 is positioned lower than the pot bonding material 58.
  • FIG. 11 shows a sleeve [0102] 10 g which is exactly the same as sleeve 10 except that the sleeve 10 g has a pot bonding material 60 which is disposed on an inner bottom surface 61 of the sleeve 10 g, for example, upon the portion of the sleeve 10 g which forms a gusset 26 g of the sleeve 10 g. When the sleeve 10 g is opened for insertion of a pot (not shown), the outer bottom surface of the pot is bondingly connected to the inner bottom surface 61 of the sleeve 10 g by the pot bonding material 60.
  • FIGS. 12 and 13 show a sleeve [0103] 10 h constructed in accordance with the present invention which is exactly the same as sleeve 10 except for differences in the positioning of pot bonding material disposed upon first and second inner surfaces 28 h and 30 h of the first and second sides 22 h and 24 h, respectively, of the sleeve 10 h. Sleeve 10 h is shown as having four areas of bonding material 62 a, 62 b, 62 c and 62 d. The areas of bonding material 62 a-62 d are alternately positioned upon the first and second inner surfaces 28 h and 30 h of the first and second sides 22 h and 24 h, respectively, of the sleeve 10 h as shown in FIG. 13 so that the bonding areas are staggered and so that if the sleeve 10 h is flattened, no area of bonding material will be pressed against another area of bonding material. The sleeve 10 h can thus be more easily opened.
  • FIG. 14 shows a cross-sectional view of a sleeve [0104] 10 i which is exactly the same as sleeve 10 h except that the sleeve 10 i has a piece of release material 52 i inserted into an inner retaining space 32 i of the sleeve 10 i so that areas of bonding material 62 a and 62 c are separated from areas of bonding material 62 b and 62 d whereby the areas of bonding material 62 a-d do not adhere to opposite first and second inner surfaces 28 i and 30 i of the first and second sides 22 i and 24 i, respectively, of the sleeve 10 i.
  • Shown in FIG. 15 is a sleeve [0105] 10 j which is exactly the same as sleeve 10 h except that sleeve 10 j has areas of bonding material 64 a-d which substantially correspond to areas of bonding material 62 a-d in sleeve 10 h except that the areas of bonding material 64 a-d have triangular instead of rectangular shapes. In fact, it will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that the number of areas of bonding material of the inner peripheral surface and their shapes and arrangements on the sleeve can be varied. In another version of the invention, not shown, the bonding material may be positioned in a spiral pattern on the inner surface of the lower portion of the sleeve.
  • Embodiments of FIGS. [0106] 16A-17C
  • Shown in FIGS. 16A and 16B is a sleeve [0107] 10 k constructed exactly the same as sleeve 10 except that a closure bonding material 68 is disposed upon a portion of a first inner peripheral surface 28 k (or alternatively, a second peripheral surface 30 k of first and second sides 22 k, 24 k, respectively, of the sleeve 10 k). After a pot has been disposed within the sleeve 10 k, an upper end 12 k of the sleeve 10 k can be pressed together, causing the bonding material 68 to adhere to a portion of the first inner peripheral surface 28 k to effect closure of the upper end 12 k of the sleeve 10 k.
  • Shown in FIGS. 17A and 17B is a sleeve [0108] 10 m which is an alternate version of the sleeve 10 in which an upper end of second side 24 m extends a distance beyond an upper end of first side 22 m. Disposed upon the upper end of a second inner peripheral surface 30 m of second side 24 m is a closure bonding material 68 m. After a pot is disposed within the sleeve 10 m, the upper end portion of the second side 24 m with closure bonding material 68 m disposed thereon can be folded in a direction 70 onto an upper end portion of the first side 22 m, thereby sealing the upper portion of the sleeve 10 m.
  • Shown in FIG. 17C is a sleeve [0109] 10 n which is exactly the same as sleeve 10 m except there is a second closure bonding material 72 which is disposed upon an upper end portion of a first side 22 n of the sleeve 10 n. When an upper end portion of a second side 24 n having a closure bonding material 68 n is folded over onto the first side 22 n in the direction indicated by an arrow 70 n, the closure bonding material 68 n bondingly engages closure bonding material 72 thereby effecting a seal in an upper end 12 n of sleeve 10 n. Preferably, in this version, the closure bonding materials 68 n and 72 are both cohesive materials so that when another sleeve 10 n is appressed against the sleeve 10 n, neither bonding material 68 n nor 72 will cause the adjacent sleeves 10 n to be connected to each other thereby facilitating the separation of sleeves 10 n from the batch. It will be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art that the arrangements and types of closure bonding materials described in FIGS. 16A-17C are applicable to all other embodiments of sleeves described herein including sleeves with and without a pot bonding material.
  • Embodiments of FIGS. [0110] 18-25
  • Shown in FIG. 18 is a sleeve [0111] 10 p which is exactly the same as sleeve 10 except that (1) it does not have a pot bonding material disposed upon a portion of a first or second inner peripheral surface thereof and (2) an upper portion 36 p is not sized so as to substantially encompass a floral grouping portion of a potted plant disposed therein. Rather, the upper portion 36 p performs the primary function of holding a lower portion 38 p of the sleeve 10 p upon a support assembly, via apertures 39 p, such as a wicket as described above. The upper portion 36 p in this case is then intended to be removed before a potted plant is placed in the sleeve 10 p.
  • FIG. 19 shows a sleeve [0112] 10 q which is exactly the same as sleeve 10 p except that it has a pot bonding material 50 q disposed therein for connecting to a pot disposed therein. Further, optionally, sleeve 10 p may be equipped with a release material 52 q which is attached to an upper portion 36 q of the sleeve 10 q, or which extends to near an upper end of the upper portion 36 q so that when the upper portion 36 q is detached, via apertures 39 q, from a lower portion 38 q of the sleeve 10 q during use of this version of the invention, the release material 52 q is removed along with the upper portion 36 q thereby eliminating the separate step of removing the release material 52 q separately.
  • FIG. 20 shows a sleeve [0113] 10 r which is exactly the same as sleeve 10 p except the sleeve 10 r has a gusset 26 r which is constructed in a slightly different manner, as indicated in FIGS. 20 and 21. The sleeve 10 r when opened, and after an upper portion 36 r has been removed from a lower portion 38 r, is shown in FIG. 22. It will be appreciated that sleeve 10 r may also have a pot bonding material disposed upon a portion of an inner surface thereof as described elsewhere herein.
  • FIG. 23 shows a sleeve [0114] 10 s constructed exactly the same as the other sleeves described herein except that the sleeve 10 s is formed from a tube of material which has been flattened and in which portions of the sleeve 10 s have been removed to form a tapered lower portion 38 s in the sleeve 10 s. A gusset 26 s may be formed in the lower end of the sleeve 10 s or the sleeve may be left without a gusset in the lower end.
  • Shown in FIG. 24 is a sleeve [0115] 10 t having an upper portion 36 t and a lower portion 38 t, each of which is constructed of different materials (as indicated by the cross-hatching in the lower portion). Preferably, the upper portion 36 t is constructed of a transparent material. A detaching element 40 t, for example, perforations, is disposed in the upper portion 36 t of the sleeve 10 t in a position slightly above a skirt portion 44 t of the lower portion 38 t, wherein when the upper portion 36 t is removed from the lower portion 38 t, if an uneven edge is left, the uneven edge comprises a portion of the transparent upper portion 36 t of the sleeve 10 t and is not obvious against the background of a floral grouping disposed within the sleeve 10 t.
  • Shown in FIG. 25 is a sleeve [0116] 10 u similar to sleeve lot except that an upper portion 36 u is removably attached to a portion of a lower portion 38 u at a position below a skirt portion 44 u. A detaching element, which serves to enable the separation of the upper portion 36 u from the lower portion 38 u is a tear strip 74, such as is well known by one of ordinary skill in the art. Each of sleeves 10 t and 10 u may of course have a pot bonding and/or closure bonding material disposed upon portions thereof as described elsewhere herein. The lower portions 38 t and 38 u of the sleeves 10 t and 10 u, respectively, may be preformed pot covers to which the upper portion 36 t of the sleeve 10 t or the upper portion 36 u of the sleeve 10 u is attached. The material of the upper portion of any of the sleeves described herein, including the sleeves 10 t and 10 u of FIGS. 24 and 25, may be made of a material having a lighter, heavier, or equal gauge as the material of the lower portion.
  • Embodiments of FIGS. [0117] 26-31
  • Shown in FIGS. [0118] 26-31 are sleeves which are exactly like sleeve 10 except each has an alternative arrangement of perforations for enabling separation of the upper portion of a sleeve from the lower portion. Sleeve 10 v in FIG. 26 has a detaching element 40 v comprising perforations having a scalloped pattern. FIG. 27 shows a sleeve 10 w which has a detaching element 40 w comprising perforations having a upside-down, or inverted, scalloped pattern. FIG. 28 shows a sleeve 10 x which has a detaching element 40 x comprising perforations having a wavy or sine-wave type pattern. FIG. 29 shows a sleeve 10 y which as a detaching element 40 y having a toothed or zig-zag perforation pattern.
  • FIG. 30 shows a sleeve [0119] 10 z which has a detaching element 40 z comprising perforations having a rectangular pattern. Shown in FIG. 31 is a sleeve 10 aa having a detaching element 40 aa which comprises perforations having a diagonally-oriented pattern. Each of these sleeves, as for the other sleeves described herein, may have a vertically-oriented line of perforations or other detaching element extending from the upper end of the sleeve to the other line of perforations for facilitating removal of the upper portion.
  • Embodiments of FIGS. [0120] 32-38
  • FIG. 32 shows a sleeve [0121] 10 bb which is exactly like sleeve 10 except for the absence of a bonding material on an inner peripheral surface of a lower portion 38 bb. Instead, sleeve 10 bb comprises a tab 76 having an end 78 which is connected to a portion of the lower portion 38 bb and having a free end 80 which has a bonding material 82 disposed upon a portion thereof. The tab 76 functions to tighten the lower portion 38 bb about a pot disposed within the sleeve 10 bb. FIGS. 33 and 34 show a sleeve 10 cc which is exactly the same as sleeve 10 bb except that it has, in addition to a first tab 76 cc having a bonding material 82 cc thereon, a second tab designated as tab 84 having an end 86 which is connected to a portion of a lower portion 38 cc and having a free end 88 which has a bonding material 90 disposed thereon. Both tabs 76 and 84 together function to enable the lower portion 38 cc of the sleeve 10 cc to be tightened about a pot 91 disposed within the sleeve 10 cc, such as is shown in FIG. 34, wherein tabs 76 cc and 84 and the bonding material 82 cc and 90 thereon are appressed against an outer peripheral surface of the sleeve 10 cc to hold the sleeve 10 cc about an external surface of the pot 91 having a potted plant 92 disposed therein.
  • Another version of the present invention shown in FIGS. 35 and 36 is sleeve [0122] 10 dd which has a first tab 94 having a free end 96 and a second tab 98 having a free end 100. Disposed upon a portion of an outer peripheral surface 16 dd of the sleeve 10 dd is a bonding material 102 positioned adjacent the tabs 94 and 98. The tabs 94 and 98 can be used to tighten the sleeve 10 dd about a pot in substantially the same manner as shown in FIG. 34 except that the tabs 94 and 98 are attached to the sleeve 10 dd by pressing the free ends 96 and 100 of the tabs 94 and 98, respectively, against the bonding material 102. This scenario is shown in FIG. 36.
  • FIG. 37 shows a cross-sectional view of a sleeve [0123] 10 ee which is exactly the same as sleeve 10 dd except a release material 104 is disposed over bonding material 102 ee for preventing the bonding material 102 ee from inadvertently connecting to another object, such as another sleeve 10 ee in a stack of sleeves lee. Shown in FIG. 38 is a sleeve 10 ff having a bonding material 102 ff disposed upon a portion of an outer peripheral surface 16 ff thereof. The sleeve 10 ff is further provided with a first tab 106 having a bonding material 108 thereon and a second tab 110 having a bonding material 112 thereon. In a preferred version of sleeve 10 ff, the bonding materials 102 ff, 108 and 112 are cohesive materials. Thus, when a pot is disposed within the sleeve 10 ff, the sleeve 10 ff can be tightened about the pot by cinching the tab 106 and bondingly connecting bonding material 108 to bonding material 102 ff and cinching tab 110 and bondingly connecting bonding material 112 to bonding material 102 ff, resulting in a sleeve appearing exactly the same as sleeve 10 dd in FIG. 36 as discussed above. The advantage in the bonding materials 102 ff, 108 and 112 being cohesive lies in the lack of bonding which will occur between sleeves 10 ff when placed in a stack.
  • Construction of the Sleeves—FIGS. [0124] 39-44
  • It will be readily appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that processes for making standard floral sleeves which have open upper and lower ends are well known. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the sleeve is constructed with a closed bottom which may simply comprise a seal along the lower end of the sleeve or more preferably the closed bottom comprises an infolded portion- such as a gusset which when opened enables expansion of the bottom of the sleeve for allowing insertion of a pot therein. [0125]
  • One version of the apparatus and process used to construct a sleeve as described herein is shown in FIG. 39. A single web of material [0126] 130 from a roll 131 is fed by a drive assembly, such as an electric motor (not shown), to a folding assembly 132 which causes the web of material 130 to fold and double up on itself to form a folded web 134 having an open side 136 and a folded side 138. The folded web 134 is supported upon a conveyor or other support surface 140. As the folded web 134 is advanced by drive rollers 141 or other advancing mechanisms in direction 142, the folded side 138 is caused in a continuous process to be infolded or pouched by an infolding device 144 forming a pouch 146 which extends the length of the folded web 134. The folded web 134 with the pouch 146 therein continues to be advanced in direction 142 to a sealing position 148. A sealing bar (not shown) such as is common in the art is then activated forming a pair of sealed edges 150 and 152. The sealed edges 150 and 152 extend from the pouch 146 to the open side 136 and form a sealed bottom or gusset 154.
  • The folded web [0127] 134, now having a sleeve outlined by the sealed edges 150 and 152, is further advanced to a perforating position 155 where perforations 156 are punched into the sleeve and optionally support apertures 158 are also punched into the sleeve for enabling a collection of sleeves to be collected in a stack and held on a support mechanism such as a wicket. Ventilation holes may also be punched into the sleeve at this point. In the next step the sleeve, now with sealed edges 150 and 152 and with perforations 156, is advanced to a cutting position 159 where the sleeve is cut by a cutting die or blade (not shown), which is well known in the art, from the folded web 134 to form a completed sleeve 160. Excess material 162 may be removed to facilitate removal and storage of the sleeve 160. It will be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art that the steps of sealing, perforating and cutting the sleeves may be performed together in a single step, or two steps at one or two positions.
  • The process outlined above describes the construction of a sleeve [0128] 160 without a bonding material disposed upon any portion thereof. However, as explained above, in a preferred version of the invention, a bonding material for bonding a portion of the sleeve to a pot is located on a portion of an inner surface of the sleeve. Shown in FIG. 39 is a bonding material applicator 164 such as a sprayer or pad applicator which can be used to apply an area of bonding material 166 to a portion of the inner surface of a sleeve. The bonding material applicator 164 may be reciprocatingly activated by a reciprocating assembly (now shown) which is preferably automatically controlled and construction of which is well within the level of ordinary skill in the art. The bonding material 166 is preferably applied to the web of material 130 prior to the doubling over of the web of material 130 so that when the web of material 130 is doubled over to form the folded web 134, the bonding material 166 is oriented on a portion of an inner surface of the sleeve 160, preferably in a lower portion of the sleeve 160. The result is the production of a sleeve like sleeve 10 in FIG. 2.
  • The process described herein can be modified to produce sleeves such as any of the other sleeves described elsewhere herein. For example, a sleeve such as sleeve [0129] 10 a in FIG. 3 can be produced by inserting a piece of release material 52 into the sleeve 10 a at some point during the sleeve production process, either manually or automatically, for example, after the bonding material 166 has been applied but before the web of material 130 has been folded over to form the folded web 134. The piece of release material 52 may be inserted manually by hand or automatically using a device which automatically shoots or blows or deposits such pieces of material and which is well within the skill of one of ordinary skill in the art. Alternatively, the release material may be applied directly upon the bonding material 166 when the bonding material 166 is applied to the web of material 130, ultimately resulting in a sleeve such as sleeve 10 b shown in FIG. 5. An additional area of bonding material may be applied to another portion of the web of material 130 with another adhesive applicator (not shown) thereby forming sleeves such as the sleeves shown in FIGS. 6-10, 13, 14 and 16A-17C.
  • FIG. 39 shows both edges of open side [0130] 136 of the web of material 134 as being an equal distance from the folded side 138. It will be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art that the two edges which comprise the open side 136 of the web of material 134 can be offset during the folding process to form a sleeve such as sleeve 10 m or 10 n in FIGS. 17A and 17B having an upper end flap which can be folded over to close the upper end of the sleeve.
  • FIG. 39 shows a sleeve-forming process in which a single web of material [0131] 130 is doubled over to form the double-layered or folded web 134. The sleeve formed as described herein may also be formed during a process using two or more separate webs as shown in FIG. 40. FIG. 40 shows a first roll of material 170 and a second roll of material 172 from which are unrolled a first web of material 174 and a second web of material 176, respectively. These first and second webs of material 174 and 176 are fed in direction 178 to a position where one side of the first web of material 174 and one side of the second web of material 176 are sealed by a sealing assembly 180. If a gusset in the finished sleeve is desired, the sealed side can be infolded to form a pouched side as described in the process of FIG. 39. The remainder of the operation can be formed as described above for the process of FIG. 39.
  • Sleeves formed in accordance with the present invention can also be formed from tubular materials such as are commercially available. For example, a sleeve such as sleeve [0132] 10 s in FIG. 23 can be formed by cutting a portion of a tube, forming a gusset in the lower end of the tube, or sealing the lower end of the tube to form a closed bottom, then sealing and cutting off portions of the lower end of the tube forming a sleeve having a tapered lower end. Adhesive may be applied to an interior portion of the sleeve by opening the tube and spraying a bonding material onto a portion of the inner surface of the sleeve, for example. In another version of the invention, the process of forming the tubular material from one or more flat webs of material may comprise a step in the process of forming a sleeve.
  • FIGS. [0133] 41-44 show other configurations of sleeves having sealed lower ends which can be formed. Shown in FIG. 41 is a process in which both sides 184 and 186 of the first and second webs of material 174 and 176 (FIG. 40) are sealed and sleeves 10 gg so formed are positioned in an alternating upward and downward orientation to maximize usage of the webs of material 174 and 176. The sleeves 10 gg formed in this method, when severed from the web of material has an upper gusset 190 in the upper end and a lower gusset 192 in the lower end of the sleeve 10 gg and thus is initially closed at both the upper and lower ends. Therefore, after severing the sleeve 10 gg from the web, the upper gusset 190 of the sleeve must be cut away from the sleeve 10 gg to form an open end in the sleeve 10 gg. This may be done, for example, after the sleeves 10 gg have been stacked to save time. FIG. 42 shows another version of a sleeve 10 hh having a different shape, formed in a manner similar to the sleeve 10 gg shown in FIG. 41 wherein upper and lower gussets are formed during the sleeve forming process. FIGS. 43 and 44 show alternate versions of sleeves 10 ii and 10 jj, respectively, which may be formed in accordance with the present invention, wherein the lower ends 194 and 196 of the sleeves 10 ii and 10 jj shown in FIGS. 43 and 44 are heat sealed but not gussetted. It will be appreciated that all of the sleeves described in FIGS. 41-44 may comprise any of the sleeve embodiments discussed elsewhere herein. For example, perforations 200 are shown in sleeve 10 jj.
  • Changes may be made in the construction and the operation of the various components, elements and assemblies described herein or in the steps or the sequence of steps of the methods described herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims. [0134]

Claims (13)

What is claimed:
1. A floral sleeve manufactured by a method, comprising:
providing at least one web of material;
automatically advancing a portion of the at least one web of material;
applying a bonding material to a portion of only a single surface of the at least one web of material;
automatically forming a flattened tubular sleeve from the portion of the at least one web of material having the bonding material applied to the portion of the single surface thereof, wherein the flattened tubular sleeve thus formed has a closed lower end, an upper end, an outer peripheral surface, and an inner peripheral surface, the sleeve further comprising:
a lower portion, and
an upper portion detachable from the lower portion via perforations positioned in a predetermined pattern, and wherein the bonding material disposed upon a portion of the single surface of the sleeve is positioned on a portion of the inner peripheral surface of the sleeve.
2. The floral sleeve of claim 1 wherein the flattened tubular sleeve comprises a flattened body comprising:
a first side having a first edge, a second edge, an upper edge, a lower edge, an outer surface and an inner surface;
a second side having a first edge, a second edge, an upper edge, a lower edge, an outer surface and an inner surface;
and wherein in a flattened condition of the sleeve, the inner surface of the first side rests flatwise upon the inner surface of the second side and the first edge of the first side is sealed to the first edge of the second side and the second edge of the first side is sealed to the second edge of the second side.
3. The floral sleeve of claim 1 further comprising the step of applying a separate release material to the bonding material.
4. The floral sleeve of claim 1 wherein the bonding material comprises a pressure-sensitive adhesive or cohesive bonding material.
5. A floral sleeve manufactured by a method, comprising:
providing at least one web of material;
automatically advancing a portion of the at least one web of material;
applying a bonding material to a portion of only a single surface of the at least one web of material; and
automatically forming a flattened tubular sleeve having a closed lower end from the portion of the at least one web of material having the bonding material applied thereto, wherein the flattened tubular sleeve thus formed has an inner surface, and wherein the bonding material is positioned on a portion of the inner surface which is exposed to an inner retaining space of the flattened tubular sleeve.
6. The floral sleeve of claim 5 wherein the closed lower end of the sleeve has a gusset.
7. The floral sleeve of claim 5 comprising the additional step of introducing perforations into portions of the flattened tubular sleeve for enabling separation of portions of the sleeve.
8. The floral sleeve of claim 5 wherein the bonding material comprises a pressure sensitive adhesive or bonding material.
9. The floral sleeve of claim 5 wherein in the step of forming the flattened tubular sleeve, the sleeve has a frustoconical shape when in the opened position.
10. The floral sleeve of claim 5 comprising the additional step of applying a separate release material to the bonding material.
11. The floral sleeve of claim 5 wherein the bonding material is a cohesive bonding material.
12. The floral sleeve of claim 5 comprising using a second web of material wherein portions of both the first web of material and the second web of material are used in the step of forming the flattened tubular sleeve.
13. The floral sleeve of claim 5 wherein in the forming step the sleeve is formed by doubling over portions of the at least one web of material.
US10/356,804 1984-05-22 2003-01-31 Method of manufacturing a tubular sleeve Abandoned US20030131561A1 (en)

Priority Applications (11)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US08/095,331 US5428939A (en) 1988-09-26 1993-07-21 Method for crimping a wrapper about a floral grouping
US08/220,852 US5572851A (en) 1984-05-22 1994-03-31 Plant package having a detachable sleeve and methods
US08/237,078 US5625979A (en) 1992-09-04 1994-05-03 Sleeve having a detachable portion forming a skirt and methods
US08/386,859 US5493809A (en) 1988-09-26 1995-02-10 Sleeve having a detachable portion for forming a pot cover
US08/457,186 US5572849A (en) 1988-09-26 1995-06-01 Method of packaging a potted plant
US08/608,390 US5628146A (en) 1992-09-04 1996-02-28 Sleeve having a detachable portion for forming a pot cover
US08/709,233 US5689915A (en) 1993-07-21 1996-08-30 Sleeve having a detachable portion for forming a pot cover
US08/928,560 US5899047A (en) 1993-07-21 1997-09-12 Method of manufacturing a tubular sleeve
US27490399A true 1999-03-24 1999-03-24
US67252500A true 2000-09-28 2000-09-28
US10/356,804 US20030131561A1 (en) 1993-07-21 2003-01-31 Method of manufacturing a tubular sleeve

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US10/356,804 US20030131561A1 (en) 1993-07-21 2003-01-31 Method of manufacturing a tubular sleeve

Related Parent Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US67252500A Continuation 2000-09-28 2000-09-28

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US20030131561A1 true US20030131561A1 (en) 2003-07-17

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US08/928,560 Expired - Fee Related US5899047A (en) 1984-05-22 1997-09-12 Method of manufacturing a tubular sleeve
US10/356,804 Abandoned US20030131561A1 (en) 1984-05-22 2003-01-31 Method of manufacturing a tubular sleeve

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Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US08/928,560 Expired - Fee Related US5899047A (en) 1984-05-22 1997-09-12 Method of manufacturing a tubular sleeve

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